“I’m SO busy!” - How to Manage Your Schedule in Parenthood –Part 1-

Being a parent takes us to a whole new level of busy, because now we are actually responsible for someone else’s life. 

I talk with parents all the time about how to best manage their schedules.  In Part 1 of this 3 part series (3 parts as I post this, it could be more by the time I’m done with this), I discuss picking your priorities that will positively impact your family.

Take a listen:

(Transcript of video)

Hi, This is Catherine O’Brien Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with www.HappyWithBaby.com.   Today we are talking about how to Manage Your Schedule in Parenthood.

I’m so busy!

So how often do you actually hear yourself saying that?

Sometimes I tell myself that since I became a mom my life has gotten so much busier, which in some ways is true.  But there were many times in my life that being busy is just what I was.

For example my senior year in high school I arrived at school every morning at 7 am for Jazz Band (leaving my house at 6am to pick up 2 other kids).  Finishing at 5:30 or 6pm after Soccer or Track practice and then 2 or 3 days I week I rushed off to my part-time job.  Now that’s crazy busy (because I also had homework).  But I think I had to identify with all the things I could accomplish. 

Now granted right before the 4th quarter I ended up with some explainable virus that I could hardly get out of bed.  Now you can say probably exhaustion, right? 

So you think that would have shaped my life and lead me to make sure to balance my life with lots of self-care. 

Well, no…not even close. 

I struggle to this day to make sure I take time for myself.  So how exactly do you do that? How do you make sure you have time to do everything you need to?  What are your big priorities?

Honestly, my calendar is sometimes my best friend…sometimes anyways.

You have to make sure to SCHEDULE THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN and the others will fill in around it.  Because if you don’t schedule them, they won’t get done.

So what are the important things?

Time with my kids – 20- 30-minute blocks in the evening, or in the afternoon if I can do it. 

This includes “no media interruption”…no checking Facebook or Pinterest to see how I can better organize my kids toys, there will be time to do that later. 

Your kids will love to have your undivided attention.  You will LOVE this time.  Get silly, play kitchen, Superheroes, pricessesses.  Let them direct your role. 

Sometimes you might only have 10 minutes, but remember this time does not last forever.  It is important time for both of you. 

Secondly, date night with hubby, Get. It . On. The. Schedule. Include a 20 minute check-in with each other each day.  That time you make for each other does add up.  Secure that connection.  Prioritize it.  If you guys don’t schedule it there is a good chance it’s just not going to happen.

Thirdly, time for yourself.  Block out time to exercise.  Chill out. Time for friends.  Time to read. 

The things you enjoy are really important to help you decompress as a parent and a person.

Remember, your children are watching. Model for them how to take care of yourself. 

They will learn how to take care of themselves by watching you.

…and this means the PTA moms might still try to convince you in volunteering for the next fundraiser, but if you’re already volunteering in the classroom once a week and did the last couple fundraisers, believe me you have more than exceed your volunteer duties, don’t let them convince you otherwise. 

Your schedule is booked.  They need to find another momma this time…or heck, better yet give them your husband’s number :)

Just remember, don’t over schedule yourself.  Keep things simple (I know, I know…nothings SIMPLE when you have kids, but you catch my drift). 

I know for myself I really try not to and then things just kind of add up in my calendar.  But seriously, write down and schedule the things that are important to you. 

Block out  any extra free time for unexpected things. 

Remember: Busy people aren’t better people.  Take care of yourself and you will take care of your family.

Now let me get to implementing some of this myself (wink, wink).

How do you help yourself stay focused on your priorities and not over schedule yourself?   What are the most important things you find you need in your life?  Please share your wisdom in the comments below.

In Part 2 we will review some ways to actually get these things into your schedule and ways to actually implement them.  Look forward to connecting next time.